If you don't need that available anywhere 3G connection that the original nook offers, you can save 50 bucks and get the new nook Wi-Fi that omits the ATT 3G radio. It otherwise seems identical to the original nook model with a dual screen design and identical casing. The only visual difference is the back panel which is white on the nook Wi-Fi and gray on the classic nook 3G. The backs are removable and B&N sells several different colors, BTW.
The original nook with 3G and Wi-Fi is now $199, dropped today from the original $259 price. Both work with the B&N bookstore where you can download books and periodicals directly to the ebook reader. The nook models also support standard ePUB format, and that means you can also read DRM books from the Sony ebookstore, Kobobooks and the library.